Avoiding Leadership burnout is difficult if you don’t know what signs to look out for in order to adapt and recover .

The current climate of agile and remote working makes it more challenging and arduous to lead teams and organizations which leads to Managers and leaders being more susceptible to burnout . Unfortunately it has become difficult to separate our work and home lives, even with some normality returning, many are experiencing a period of huge adjustment both personally and professionally, which leads to a feeling of burnout.

It can be difficult to recognise that you’re in the midst of this, until it’s too late and then it’s even more difficult to switch off from areas which are impacting upon you in this way. But there are some key drawbacks to be aware of, which will help you to understand that you’re nearing breaking point.

Life might currently feel like one big monotonous cycle, there will be ups and downs but when the downs become more frequent, you need to tackle these issues head on as they can compromise your ability to lead successfully.

Leadership burnout can be caused by time constraints, technology, remote working , limited support, regulations and systemic factors which should consequently be prioritized.

How can you identify Leadership burnout?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) ICD-11 , occupational burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic work related stress that has not been successfully managed including the following symptoms:

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion (resulting from excessive work demands and physical symptoms such as headaches and sleeplessness, quick to anger)

2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to your Leadership role

3. Reduced professional efficacy

Leadership burnout effects Individuals psychologically , physically, behavioural and emotionally therefore notice any significant change sin these areas:

Psychological – negative and critical thoughts regarding work, apathy, cynical, self-doubt

Emotional – feelings of a low mood, anger , anxiety, chronic stress

Behavioural- Escapist activities, avoidance , lack of motivation and desire to want to ‘drop out’ of society.

Physical – headaches, stomach or bowel problems


Solutions for leadership Burnout

  1. Delegate tasks to team members rather than allowing outstanding tasks to build up an increase the feelings of overwhelm , burnout and negativity. Remember effective leadership includes being decisive and knowing your limitations which isnt a weakness but a strength. Its important to be mindful and self aware through journaling which can facilitate this process.approach to what triggers feelings of burnout.

2. Focus on fixing the workplace rather than focusing on fixing the worker as consistent with the ICD-11 definition of burnout as the burnout is related to stressors within the environment rather than related to weakness on the part of susceptible individuals including Leaders. Be confident in exploring Stressors , processes and systems with your Managers with a view to integrating change. It may be advisable to explore how to broach this with your leadership coach or mentor who may have had prior experience. This solution can improve workflow efficiency, teamwork and leadership.

3. Boundaries – Enforcing clear boundaries is effective in addressing burnout and ensuring you remain decisive and focused upon your role and responsibilities. Everyone leaders workplace and environment varies as some may have returned to work, some may be working from home or perhaps you find yourself juggling too much ‘life admin’ and it can be difficult to stick to a 9-5 routine. It can be helpful to begin setting yourself blocks of time for work, life admin, family time, relaxation, exercise and sleep.

It’s inevitable that you’ll be interrupted especially if homeworking but setting boundaries where for example you don’t check your emails between certain times because you’re focusing on something else, is perfectly acceptable. Don’t make yourself available to everyone, at all times. Even if it’s that’s logging out of your emails for a couple of hours.Respect your own need to step away from situations, conversations or tasks where you’ve not prioritised that time.

Some useful areas to set boundaries include;

– Firm working hours

– Avoiding checking work related emails or systems outside of working hours

– Clear communication on availability with others to help manage expectations

I know it’s easier said than done to implement these methods into practice as a Leader, which is why therapy or coaching may be useful to effectively address these areas.

I’m confident that noticing signs of burnout sooner rather than later and implementing some of these strategies are the critical steps in allowing you to make these changes which equip you with strategies to recognise and resolve burnout whilst regaining balance.

If you’re struggling with not knowing where to begin in addressing Organizational Burnout then please reach out to talk or book a discovery call https://calendly.com/raphatherapytraining and discover how we can help you, with our Leadership Packages https://www.raphatherapyservices.com/corporate/ and  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy .